Posted in israel, peace process

Referendum on peace agreement just might pass?

Secretary of State Kerry doggedly worked until the Israel-Palestinian peace talks revived. They have been dead for four years and not much progress was made in the Bush years prior to that. The last time there was any real progress at all was Bill Clinton forming the Oslo Accords in 1990.

This piece below was in the United Kingdom’s paper The Guardian. There does seem to be a different tone about this round of peace talks, something that has been going on since 1967 after the Six Day’s War. And let us not forget that one month after Israel declared herself a nation in 1948 war broke out from the surrounding Palestinians. Peace is ever-elusive, and due to the bible we know why. Isaac and Ishmael and the one above the other.

But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”(Genesis 21:9-13)

This time things are a bit different. Israel is militarily and financially surrounded and isolated. “The European Union has moved to cut off all Israeli entities that operate in the disputed areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem” reported Russia Today. Financially, this has dramatic impact.

Also, Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would put any agreement to a popular referendum for the people to decide. The people are weary and the leaders are worried about the tight isolation they are currently enduring. Of course, America has abandoned Israel and that makes a difference too. Israel cannot count on even one ally at this moment. This has changed their perspective and they may be more willing to “talk.”

We Christians watch anything related to Israel, because that is where the Lord said He would move most dramatically. (Zechariah 2:8, Ezra 6:12). The Tribulation will be kicked off with the covenant being confirmed between Israel and “the many.” (Dan 9:27). So “suddenly” revived peace talks have me total attention! Here is the Guardian essay on the peace talks-

Why I’m (somewhat) optimistic about the latest Israel-Palestine peace talks
One would have to be a fool to ever express optimism about the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians. There have been so many pitfalls and missed opportunities over the years it’s hard to gets one’s hopes up about the launching of a new round of peace talks in Washington DC this week between Israelis and Palestinians.

Well I guess I’m a fool because I think there is genuine reason for optimism about these talks. Now to be sure I am setting the bar low (I might be a fool, but I’m not crazy). The gaps between the two sides are significant; the challenge in separating Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank to create a viable two-state solution is supremely difficult; resolving issues like the final status of Jerusalem and, to a lesser extent, the right of return for Palestinians will create a furious pushback from the extremists on both sides who are sternly opposed to any compromise. Nonetheless, there are very good reasons to believe this time – and these talks – will be different.

Israelis strongly support a two-state solution. This is not a new development, but the very fact that two-thirds of Israelis (and a slightly smaller percentage of Israeli Jews) continue to support the idea of a Palestinian state that conforms to the 1967 borders is of enormous importance.

But that so many Israelis are comfortable with the idea of a Palestinian state (something that would have been unimaginable before Oslo in the early 1990s) provides the political opening for an Israeli government to make a deal that turns the idea of two-states into reality.

If these talks fall through – no matter which side is to blame – Israel’s diplomatic and economic isolation will only get worse. Not only will the outside pressure on Israel grow, but Israelis themselves may begin finding themselves stigmatized and constrained by the actions of their government. That alone could very well shift the current cost-benefit analysis on swapping land for peace. In short, Israelis may come to realize, as they did with Camp David and with Oslo and, to a lesser extent, with the pullout from Gaza and with the withdrawal from South Lebanon, that the status quo cannot be maintained.

Influential blogger Dahlia Scheindlin in Israel wrote:

Referendum on peace agreement just might pass
“So as a public service, it is worth reminding everyone that surveys consistently show that a majority of the Israeli public favors a two-state solution. In a June survey for the Truman Institute at Hebrew University, 58 percent of Jews supported the two-state solution, and 62 percent of all Israelis including Arab respondents.”

Would a referendum vote by the Israeli people be the reference in Daniel 9:27 of the covenant “confirmed by the many”? I believe the language of the verse in English and in Hebrew supports this possibility. But as always, it is hard to tell. Prophecy is always clear after the fact and only rarely clearly  understood prior or during. In any case, the broad strokes are there, any ‘sudden’ movement in Israel regarding land for peace hearkens to the Lord’s future judgment on them because “they have divided My land” as He said in Joel 3:2. So we know by looking at the end, that land has been divided and will continue to be divided and the Lord does not like that nor does He want that.

Ultimately it would be good to pray for the leaders on both sides that they would do that the LORD wants, and even though we know that they won’t, we still “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” The John MacArthur Bible Commentary says of this verse, that this city’s name means peace and it is the residency of the God of peace, but has been fought over more times than any other city on earth. Peace will not come to Jerusalem until the Prince of Peace comes to rule personally, (Zech 14:9, 11) so this is a prophetic prayer.

“For there thrones were set for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. “May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.” (Psalm 122:5-7)

Posted in amillennialism, israel, peace process, replacement theology

Two State Solution is dead, in comes the One State Solution

By the time of the Tribulation, the bible shows us, world hatred of Israel and His People will be an an all-time high. ‘Higher than WWII and the Holocaust?’ you ask. Yes. That’s because the Tribulation will be a time when evil is allowed to prevail.

“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (Revelation 13:7) and of course this verse refers to the antichrist.

The run-up to that time will be similar to the Holocaust, where hate rises incrementally, slowly at first but then rapidly. As in the years and days prior to WWII, there were attitudes preached and promoted, laws passed, and doctrines set which cultivated hatred against Jews. It is the same now. ‘But surely Evangelical Christians who know the bible and understand how important Israel is to God and the world will not abandon her?!’ you may wonder. Yes, they will. It is happening now. Here’s why.

Part of the problem in evangelical circles is the acceptance of amillennialism and Replacement Theology. Before WWII, it took years for anti-Semitism to come to full fruition so evilly that it caused the historical actions that now draw a gasp that they even occurred. The anti-Semitism was there, bubbling and percolating until it burst full force like pus from a boil.

Replacement theology teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. People who believe in Replacement Theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, that the covenant is either fulfilled or abandoned, and that God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.

This is a dangerous belief, because it unhinges our actions from the covenant which God told to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3). Israel is the world’s fulcrum. If there is no Israel, there is no cause and effect, it becomes a flat playing field.

Amillennialism is just as devastating a doctrine to hold, both for Israel and for the Nations, because it leads to the same outcome: a disbelief that God means what he says and that Israel no longer matters. Amillennialism is the name given to the belief that there will not be a literal 1000-year reign of Christ. Though many, many scriptures speak of this earthly reign in specific and dimensional terms, amillennialists say that it won’t happen, or is happening now, of has happened in the past, or is a spiritual event, not a physical one. In sum, it is a belief that the Kingdom is figurative.

What these dangerous doctrines add up to is a vacuum in the plan of God where He blanketed the world with His demonstration of love for His chosen people and the warnings that come with harming them. People groups en masse are withdrawing their belief in these things and therefore support for Israel erodes. Nature abhors a vacuum and satan is only too happy to fill it with hatred. Look at the Tribulation time, when evil is allowed to prevail: satan comes at them full bore. Revelation 12:13-17 shows us the moment that satan is banished from heaven. In his anger, for he knows he has but a little time, he persecutes Israel, and failing that, he turns his evil anger on Christians. (Revelation 12:13-17).

Let’s take a look at the world today and do a barometer check for love of or hatred of Israel.

You know that for many years, the peace process in the Middle East hinged on instituting a Two State Solution. This means that attempts were made to diplomatically enact a state whereby the “Palestinians” and the Israelis could live side by side in peace in a mututally acknowledged state. The two-state solution envisages the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.

You know that recently it has been reluctantly acknowledged that the Two State solution has failed. It is diplomatically and in all other ways defunct because in general the whole peace process is dead.

Now here is an axiom. I made this up. Because we are in the last days of the last days, because evil is rising and will be allowed to come to complete fruition, things are not going to get better. When one thing passes away, a worse thing will replace it. That is my axiom.

And we have an example of that: the Two State Solution has passed away, and now we have calls for a ONE-State solution. Here are a few examples from the last two weeks:

‘One-state solution’ campaign promoted in West Bank
“A recently launched campaign in the West Bank calls on Palestinians and Israelis to desert the two-state solution and form one democratic state in its place. This coordinated effort comes in wake of the negotiation freeze between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A group by the name of Takamul (“Integration”) seems to be the campaign’s chief sponsor. Posters calling for “one democratic state for five million Arabs and six million Jews” were hung in Palestinian cities across the West Bank.”

Christ at the Checkpoint” conference is a misguided attempt to defend Palestinians
“Certain segments of evangelical Christianity are being drawn away from the movement’s traditional support for Israel by those claiming the moral high ground in advocating for “social justice.” Many of these liberal, anti-Israel Evangelicals are showing up at the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem this week. They invariably view Israel as an occupying power oppressing the Palestinians. They use Israel’s security “Wall” as a prominent symbol of the “injustices” being committed against the Palestinians. One has to admit that the imagery is powerful and it takes well informed minds to counter them.”

“The lack of information has started to dupe many Evangelicals, who are being shamed into abandoning Israel because they are supposedly uncompassionate and blocking peace. Indeed, this new initiative aims to totally discredit pro-Israel Evangelicals with clever lies and distortions. As David Solway recently observed in this paper, “The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state robbing the Palestinians of their heritage is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice and reflex hostility, which keep it mind-proof.”

The above excerpt from the Jerusalem Post refers to a conference being held in Bethlehem right now which targets Christian evangelicals, and proposes a one state solution.

Harvard to host conference of hate
“Harvard University is going to be hosting a conference entitled “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution,” scheduled to take place March 3-4. According to the “Vision and Goals” of the conference, as outlined by its website:“To date, the only Israel/Palestine solution that has received a fair rehearsal in mainstream forums has been the two-state solution. Our conference will help to expand the range of academic debate on this issue. Thus, our main goal is to educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.”

The conference was sold out.

And this from Ammon News (Jordan)

A Declaration from Beit Sahour calls for One-State Solution
(Beit Sahour is a town near Bethlehem, Israel, and is reputed to be close to the place where, according to the New Testament, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.)

“If a two-state solution is not workable or achievable, the logical conclusion would inevitably lead to a one-state solution. The general view in the Middle East is that the relentless proliferation of settlements throughout the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 has made the very concept of creating a viable Palestinian state, let alone one with East Jerusalem as its capital, unrealistic if not far-fetched.”

The article continues, and get this–

“Declaration from Beit Sahour:
“A group of pro-peace activists based in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank in conjunction with a number of international activists the most prominent of whom is Roger Higginson, a London based international negotiator and a member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICHAD) are promoting a one-state for two nations. Their collaborations resulted in a “Declaration from Beit Sahour” which calls for a one-state solution. Beit Sahour is a Palestinian Christian town close to Bethlehem. Higginson is a firm believer in a single state for all the inhabitants of historical Palestine. Higginson believes a single state should not represent a threat to the Jewish citizens of Israel. Both communities lived in peace in the past, and there is no inherent reason why they cannot do so again today.”

Do you see the progression here? Israel is surrounded on all sides spiritually and geographically. It is dealing with external pressure from the ancient enemy to dismantle their state. And make no mistake, a “One State Solution” is really a call for the dismantling of Israel. Israel is dealing with attacks at their most supportive base: Christian Evangelicals, targeting them both in the US and within their own borders. This widening gap between Jews and Christians in politics, geography and belief will come to fruition in the Tribulation- a lonely and alone Israeli State…

“For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.” (Zechariah 11:16).

That ‘Worthless Shepherd’ is the antichrist. (Zechariah 11:17). The conditions upon which those conditions will be fulfilled are rapidly coming together. When Israel cannot trust the American president nor count on support from Christian Evangelicals, when Israeli postmen refuse to deliver New Testaments, where the population of the very town where the Angels announced Jesus’ birth turns against its own heritage and homeland, you know that their last bastion of support is almost eroded.

This is because it must be so. As Israel faces an increasingly hostile world, she will be forced to stop looking around her for support, and instead look UP. (Zechariah 12:10). And God will show Himself holy to the world, defend His nation and His people, and amillennialists and replacement theologians will see just how wrong they were.

“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. … Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”’ (Ezekiel 38:18, 23)

Praise God for His faithfulness! His Covenant lasts forever! His Kingdom will come!